Home DestinationsAmerica 5-Days Road Trip from Las Vegas to Los Angeles : Discover the Best of the Southwest

5-Days Road Trip from Las Vegas to Los Angeles : Discover the Best of the Southwest

by Ethan
Person Wearing Beige Sweater Holding Map Inside Vehicle

5-Day Road Trip from Las Vegas to Los Angeles : Are you ever in the mood to hit the open road and experience the freedom of driving? Imagine the wind blowing through your hair as you pass breathtaking natural landscapes that seem to go on forever. Picture yourself surrounded by loved ones, listening to your favorite songs on a carefully curated playlist. If this daydream resonates with you, then a road trip from Las Vegas to Los Angeles is the perfect adventure. Along this route, you’ll encounter vast deserts that will transport you to the Wild West, magnificent mountains, and stunning coastal treasures that never fail to impress travelers from around the globe. With the United States now open to tourists, it’s the ideal time for an American getaway! In this convenient guide, we’ve compiled a list of iconic sights to discover during your journey, as well as the best car rental deals, nearby hotels, and cost-effective attractions in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Enjoy reading, and happy travels!

Photo By Klook

Las Vegas to Los Angeles Itinerary

  • Driving time: 13-14 hours in total
  • Distance: More or less 670 miles
  • Duration: 5 days
  • Items to pack: Sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, hiking boots/shoes, snacks, water, and attire that is comfortable.

No. of Stop

Location

Distance

First Stop

Red Rock Canyon

16.3 miles from Las Vegas via US-95N and NV-159

Second Stop

Death Valley

123 miles from Red Rock Canyon via NV-160 and CA-190 W

Third Stop

Mojave National Preserve

121 miles from Death Valley to Mojave National Preserve via Cow Creek Rd and CA-127 S

Fourth Stop

Joshua Tree

138 miles from Mojave National Preserve to Joshua Tree via N Amboy Road and El Reposo Cir

Fifth Stop

Palm Springs

33.7 miles from Joshua Tree to Palm Springs via CA-62 W and N Indian Canyon Drive

Sixth Stop

Temecula Wineries

71.5 miles from Palm Springs to Temecula Wineries via I-10 W and CA-79

Seventh Stop

Disneyland California

64.8 miles from Temecula Wineries to Disneyland California via I-15N and CA-91

Eighth Stop

Griffith Observatory

34.6 miles from Disneyland California to Griffith Observatory via I-5 N and Loz Feliz Blvd

Last Stop (option 1)

Long Beach

31.4 miles from Griffith Observatory to Long Beach via I-5 S and I-710 S

Last Stop (option 2)

Santa Monica Pier

23.7 miles from Griffith Observatory to Santa Monica Pier via 1-10W

Day 1: Red Rock Canyon & Death Valley

kids with a snowman at red rock canyon

Photo By Klook

After picking up your car rental from Klook, embark on a journey to Red Rock Canyon, a renowned national park known for its striking red sandstone formations. Experience the magnificence of these natural wonders through exhilarating rock climbing or explore the park’s numerous hiking trails, including the 4.5-mile Turtlehead Peak Trail, available for just USD7. Discover more about the local wildlife and geological history at the conveniently located visitor’s center. Your next destination, Death Valley, awaits a scenic 2-hour drive across the vast Mojave Desert. As one of the largest national parks in the country, it offers diverse landscapes and thrilling activities. Try sandboarding in the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, capture mesmerizing images of the salt flats at Badwater Basin, or embark on a hike to witness the fascinating Devils Golf Course.

Rent a Car With Klook

two people strolling in death valley national park

Photo By Klook

You also have the choice to explore Star Wars sites within the park, including the vibrant Artists Palette, the beloved Desolation Canyon, and the majestic Dantes View, which offers a panoramic view of Death Valley. When it comes to lodging options, The Inn at Death Valley is highly recommended due to their exceptional service, prime location within the park, and comfortable California-inspired suites that provide a soothing atmosphere for your stay.
WhyNotHoliday Tip : To experience Death Valley’s scorching temperatures, it is advisable to plan a visit before or after the summer season.

Day 2: Mojave National Preserve & Joshua Tree

– Mojave National Preserve

photo of mountain near trees

Photo by Ian M Jones

During your second day, take a drive along Kelbaker Road to explore Mojave National Preserve and witness its stunning granite mountains, volcanic craters, and untouched wilderness. As you venture further, you’ll uncover the preserve’s remarkable treasures, such as the extraordinary Kelso Dunes, the captivating limestone caves of Mitchell Caverns, and a panoramic viewpoint showcasing the world’s largest population of Joshua trees at Teutonia Peak.

On your way to Joshua Tree, make sure to make pit stops at intriguing roadside attractions like Skull Rock, The World Famous Crochet Museum, and Pioneertown. While Skull Rock can be a brief visit, the Crochet Museum and Pioneertown may require a few extra minutes to fully appreciate their peculiar charm. The Crochet Museum houses a quirky assortment of crocheted art, while Pioneertown is an enchanting ghost town boasting wooden saloons and stores frozen in time from the 1940s.

Joshua Tree 

cactus plants in desert

Photo by Cedric Letsch

If you find yourself driving along roads that lead to vast desert plains adorned with cacti and Joshua trees, with rocky mountains as a stunning backdrop, then you have reached Joshua Tree National Park. This park is situated between the Mojave Desert and the Colorado Desert, two distinct ecological environments that have given rise to the park’s unique and otherworldly plant life and terrain resembling that of Mars. During your visit, you have the opportunity to explore and conquer up to 8,000 climbing formations. When it’s time to rest, consider staying at either America’s Best Value Inn or Best Western Joshua Tree Hotel & Suites, conveniently located near Joshua Tree National Park, and book your accommodation through Klook.

Day 3: Palm Springs & Temecula Wineries

– Palm Springs

pool party in palm springs california

Photo By Oliver Dumoulin

After spending two days traveling, it’s time to treat yourself in the city. Palm Springs offers a wide range of indulgent experiences, including massages, pool dips, and shopping sprees, ensuring you find everything your heart desires. Additionally, you can explore popular tourist attractions like the Palm Springs Art Museum, Moorten’s Botanical Garden, and Cabazon Dinosaurs. If you prefer outdoor adventures, the surrounding Coachella Valley offers activities such as biking, hiking, horseback riding, and much more.

Temecula Wineries

people tossing their clear wine glasses

Photo by Kelsey Knight

Continue your indulgence in the charming wine country of Temecula, located in Southern California. Pamper yourself with a delightful wine tasting experience at any of the 40 wineries, each offering their own award-winning specialties. Whether you prefer a group tasting with fellow tourists or a self-guided tour, you can explore the various wine trails catered to all types of wine enthusiasts. Immerse yourself in the rich history of Temecula, learn about the intricate process of winemaking, and savor a wide selection of wines during your trip. To fully enjoy this remarkable experience, make sure to book your stay in advance at the Holiday Inn Express Temecula!

Day 4: Disneyland California & Griffith Observatory

Disneyland California

blue ferris wheel

Photo by Brandi Alexandra

Once you’ve arrived in Los Angeles, it’s impossible to overlook the enchanting Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. Here, you can encounter beloved Disney characters, experience thrilling rides, and delve into the realms of iconic movies. Secure your fast pass tickets through Klook and gain access to Star Wars Land, Indiana Jones, Avengers Campus, and seven other themed attractions brimming with exhilarating offerings. Don’t forget to explore Space Mountain, the Haunted Mansion, and, most importantly, the Dole Whip counter for a delightful treat while waiting in line!

– Griffith Observatory

white dome building near green trees during daytime

Photo by Venti Views

No trip to the City of Angels would be complete without catching a glimpse of the famous Hollywood sign, and there’s no better place to see it than the renowned Griffith Observatory. This observatory, with its stunning art deco design, offers the most spectacular views in the region – with Hollywood to the south, downtown LA to the southeast, and the majestic Pacific Ocean to the southwest. And the best part? Admission is absolutely free! Immerse yourself in the wonders of the cosmos as you explore the Zeiss telescope, attend captivating presentations at the planetarium, and discover fascinating insights about the universe at their science exhibits.

map to griffith observatory dash route stops

Photo By ladottransit

WhyNotHoliday Tip : Instead of walking uphill to Griffith Observatory, save time and energy by taking a public shuttle for just USD0.50. After parking your car rental near Greek Theatre or the surrounding areas, conveniently catch a ride at any of the DASH shuttle stops (A, B, C, and D). Why not make your holiday easier and more enjoyable?

Day 5: Long Beach or Santa Monica Pier

To conclude your California road trip, there is no better way than heading to the beach, and Los Angeles offers two options worth considering: Long Beach and Santa Monica Pier. As these two locations are situated on opposite sides of the coast, we suggest selecting a single final destination for an optimal beach day experience.

– Long Beach

naples island in long beach california

Photo By dan_stiel

Long Beach is the perfect destination if you want to experience the local community. Unlike Santa Monica, this beach town has a laid-back atmosphere that is even more delightful. It offers various family-friendly attractions such as the Aquarium of the Pacific and the charming coastal neighborhood of Naples Island. Moreover, you will find vintage shops, cozy restaurants, and cultural centers here, all of which possess a unique character and are much more affordable than the upscale areas of Los Angeles.

– Santa Monica Pier

santa monica pier view in sunset

Photo By Venti Views

If you enjoy Hollywood movies, then Santa Monica Pier is the perfect destination for you. This strip has gained such immense popularity that it has transformed into an iconic landmark. With its famous Ferris wheel and lively carnival at Pacific Park, the beachside attraction offers a glimpse into the glamorous world of Hollywood. Additionally, you can witness the incredible spectacle of muscle-bound bodybuilders at Muscle Beach and explore the upscale shops at Main Street. For a relaxed beach experience, the Venice Beach Boardwalk, adorned with palm trees, welcomes people from all backgrounds to bask in the sun and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.

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